LSU baseball transfer portal tracker: who's out, who's in for Jay Johnson, Tigers

Koki Riley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

LSU baseball coach Jay Johnson's first season in Baton Rouge was mostly a success.

The Tigers jumped from ninth to fourth in the SEC standings, nearly hosted a regional after having trouble making the NCAA Tournament the year before and sported one of the best offenses in college baseball.

But the keyword is mostly. Even with a stronger showing in the regular season, LSU failed to reach the Super Regionals despite needing just one win in two games to get there against Southern Miss. The Tigers' pitching contributed to most of their woes, as the starters failed to go deep into games and the bullpen fell apart in the Hattiesburg Regional.

The page now turns to year two of Johnson's regime. LSU has already brought in the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation in 2022, according to Perfect Game. But with the MLB Draft in July and the transfer portal, the Tigers' 2023 roster is far from being set.

Here's a look at who LSU has added and lost from the transfer portal. This story will be updated throughout the offseason.

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Players leaving LSU baseball via the portal

Luke Leto - Leto announced that he was transferring to Kansas and reuniting with former LSU recruiting coordinator Dan Fitzgerald on July 30. As a freshman first baseman this year he had one RBI in 10 at-bats.

Drew Bianco - Bianco, according to D1Baseball, entered the portal on June 29 and transferred to Houston. Bianco only had a .128 batting average and four RBI this season but last year hit seven home runs and posted a .378 on-base percentage. At LSU, he played at every position except for pitcher.

Jacob Hasty - Hasty transferred to Missouri on July 14, D1Baseball reported. The left-handed reliever stepped up into a bigger role in the second half of the season and finished the year with a 3.55 ERA in 25⅓ innings pitched. He also did not allow more than two earned runs in any outing this season.

Will Safford - Safford, a sophomore, announced that he was transferring to Louisiana Tech on July 26. He only had five at-bats in six matchups this past season and did not appear in a game during SEC play.

Collier Cranford - Cranford declared that he was transferring to Kansas, reuniting with former LSU recruiting coordinator Dan Fitzgerald, on July 26. He struggled at the plate in three seasons with the Tigers, with a .158 batting average with a .294 on-base percentage. But after an injury to third baseman Jacob Berry in the second half of the season, Cranford filled into his spot and was a major reason behind LSU's improved defensive play in the second half of the year.

Giovanni DiGiacomo - DiGiacomo announced that he was entering the transfer portal on June 9. In four seasons with the Tigers, he had a .275 batting average, .359 on-base percentage and .380 slugging percentage with six home runs. He was a regular starter as a freshman, appearing in 53 games, but saw his playing time wane from there. He had just 68 at-bats this season and didn't make an appearance after May 17.

Brennan Holt - Holt announced that he was transferring to Oklahoma State on June 11. He did not register a hit in four at-bats as a freshman this season after Perfect Game ranked him as a top 10 player in Louisiana coming out of high school.

Michael Fowler - According to The Advocate, Fowler will enter the portal after only appearing in three games for LSU this past season. The sophomore, however, did throw 19⅓ innings the year before.

Brody Drost - Drost has transferred to Louisiana Tech after only getting two at-bats with LSU this past season. In the year before as a freshman, he had five home runs in 84 at-bats.

Players transferring to LSU baseball from the portal

Ben Nippolt - Nippolt, an infielder at VCU, announced that he was transferring to LSU on Aug. 5. He fills a hole on the infield for the Tigers, having played third base, second base and shortstop. After spending two seasons playing junior college baseball at Des Moines Area Community College, he posted a .308 batting average in one season for the Rams.

Paul Skenes - Skenes, a right-handed pitcher and catcher at Air Force, transferred to LSU on July 28. Skenes was a first-team All-American according to Collegiate Baseball and D1 Baseball this season. He had a 2.73 ERA with more strikeouts (96) than innings pitched (85⅔) while also putting up a .314 batting average with 13 home runs.

Thatcher Hurd - Hurd, a freshman pitcher, announced his decision to transfer to LSU on June 29. The right-handed pitcher from UCLA was having an excellent season before a stress fracture in his lower back ended his year in April. Hurd had a 1.06 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched before the injury.

Carter Young - Young, a junior shortstop, announced that he was transferring to LSU on June 27. He led Vanderbilt in home runs with 16 in 2021 but struggled this year at the plate, posting a .207 batting average and hitting just seven homers. Young is draft-eligible this year. Despite LSU announcing his addition, Young has reportedly signed a deal with the Baltimore Orioles after the club drafted him in the 17th round of the MLB Draft.

Christian Little - Little transferred from Vanderbilt to LSU on June 24, according to D1 Baseball, after posting a 3.78 ERA in 38⅔ innings pitched this season as a sophomore. He also had more strikeouts than innings pitched while also recording three saves and making three starts. Little made 11 starts and had a 5.48 ERA as a freshman.

Tommy White - White transferred to LSU from NC State on June 24, according to D1 Baseball. He hit 27 home runs and posted a .362 batting average, leading all freshmen in the NCAA in home runs, RBIs and slugging percentage. He was also selected as Perfect Game's Freshman of the Year and made first-team All-ACC. 

Jack Pineda - Pineda, a shortstop at Baylor, announced his decision to transfer to LSU on June 20. The junior posted a .300 batting average with seven home runs for the Bears last season and was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention the year prior. Despite his commitment, Pineda will join the Kansas City Royals after being selected by the club in the 12th round of the MLB Draft.

Dylan Tebrake - Tebrake, a junior, announced that he was transferring to LSU on June 11. At Creighton this past season he was exceptional, holding a 2.81 ERA in 93 innings pitched as the Bluejays' ace. He's also won Big East Pitcher of the Year for the last two seasons. Despite committing to LSU, Tebrake will pass up Baton Rouge after getting drafted by the New York Mets in the eighth round of the MLB Draft.

Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.